CHUCK'S DAILY CHECK IN 11.11.17

GAME NIGHT FROM SAN ANTONIO.

Bulls (2-8, 1-4 road) at Spurs (7-5, 5-2-home) 7:30 tipoff.

TV: NBC Sports Chicago: Neil Funk and Stacey King 7:30PM tip.

RADIO: WLS 890AM: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul 7PM.

LAST GAME: Indiana 105 Bulls 87. Milwaukee 94 Spurs 87.

LEADING SCORERS:
Bulls: Portis 20ppg, Holiday and Markkanen 15ppg.
Spurs: Aldridge: 22ppg.

LEADING REBOUNDERS:
Bulls: Portis 12, Markannen 8.
Spurs: Aldridge: 8

LEADING ASSISTS:
Bulls: Grant: 6.
Spurs: Gasol 3.

KEYS TO THE GAME: Stop LaMarcus Aldridge. He’s been a one man wrecking crew against the Bulls over the years. Doesn’t matter if it’s in a Portland or Spurs uniform. He loves that mid-range 12-16 foot jumper. I expect the Spurs to play with a sense of urgency as they close out a six game home stand tonight. The Spurs beat the Bulls at the United Center Oct. 21, 87-77 behind Aldridge’s 28-10 game. Rudy Gay scored 12 off the bench. Gay is still very capable of going off on any given night. Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and Joffrey Lauvergne have missed a combined 33 games. Leonard and Parker have yet to play this season.

BULLS LOSE TO PACERS: Indiana came to the United Center having dropped four straight and dictated play from the opening tipoff playing with energy and an edge. The Bulls struggled in transition defense as the Pacers outscored the Bulls 20-6 in fast break points. The Bulls simply couldn’t buy a hoop going 7 of 27 behind the arc. Bojan Bogdanovic sealed the game nailing four three point field goals in the second half. Victor Oladipo was sensational knocking down mid-range jumpers coming off screens from Myles Turner.

PORTIS EXCELS: In his first two games since returning from an eight game suspension, Bobby Portis is averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds. He’s playing with confidence and improved low post play from a season ago. He also told me he changed his diet and has limited his intake of fried foods and for a home grown young man from Arkansas that’s an accomplishment. Portis with back to back 20 point games for the first time in his 128 career games.

NBA NEWS AND NOTES:

GIANNIS TOO MUCH FOR SPURS: “The Greek Freak“ is the early leader for the MVP award. An impressive 28 points 12 rebounds 5 assists and 4 blocked shots night as the Bucks win in San Antonio. Eric Bledsoe made his Bucks debut and scored 13 points and dished out 7 assists with a plus 10 as a starter.San Antonio with a rare home/home back to back hosting the Bulls tonight.

Make it 11 straight for Boston erasing an 18 point deficit in a 3 point win over the Hornets. Kyrie Irving played two minutes and did not return . It’s expected he will be evaluated throughout the weekend for possible concussion symptoms. Jaylen Brown grabbed 13 rebounds…this kid is going to be very, very special.

Detroit’s guards were just too much for the Hawks. Reggie Jackson, Avery Bradley and Ish Smith combined for 59 of the Pistons 111 points. Detroit moves to 9-3. Andre Drummond is AVERAGING 14 points 15 rebounds and 3 assists.

After a coaching change it appeared the Suns were headed in the right direction but as of late the Suns reverted back to being the Suns. Jay Triano is a very good coach but it’s tough for any interim coach , especially without a training camp. Orlando lit up Phoenix for 128 points as the Magic moved to 8-4. Are the Suns primed for another deal?

Lou Williams 35 points off the bench is the most by a Clipper since Jamal Crawford in 2014. But Paul George went for 42 as OKC gets a much needed win by 9.

The Jazz went 0-14 from 3 point range and lost to the Heat.

Nice win for the Nets in Portland. I’ll say this for the Nets and I watch a ton of ball on NBALP…this teams plays hard every night. Period.

WINDY CITY BULLS UPDATE: A career high and franchise record 44 points for Antonio Blakeney in a 130-126 victory over the OKC Blue. Congratulations to new coach Charlie Henry and the entire WCB organization.

Thanks for reading CCI. E-mail me at cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter: @ctsbulls.

Always a pleasure.

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